People are increasingly looking for products that are better for them and for the environment. Greenwashing is an increasing concern nowadays as companies are trying to benefit from the growing demand for eco-friendly and ethical clothes. This step is crucial to transparency: how can a company disclose information on a product if it doesn’t know all the steps involved in making it? Second-hand refers to clothes that have been pre-loved, that have had a previous owner and that were donated or resold. One of the most popular sustainable fashion terms to look for is organic clothing; a general label that refers to clothes made without harmful chemicals, pesticides, … Plus, animal rights in the fashion industry can often be linked to broader environmental issues. Minimalism is about reducing the amount of stuff (in our case, clothes) that you own. Organic refers to raw materials that are not genetically modified (GM), and have been grown without any chemical pesticides and insecticides. Circular fashion moves away from the traditional take-make-dispose business model. It is based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy. The search for “organic” products began in the food industry and is now reaching the fashion industry, with more and more brands starting to offer organic options. We may earn a commission on sales made using our offer codes or affiliate links. They don’t always have to be a sustainable fashion brand, though some may be. For some, ‘ethical fashion’ focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry … Fashion Revolution is a global movement that believes in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Account; Checkout; Wishlist – Menu Ethical and sustainable fashion are often used interchangeably. A living wage is the bare minimum wage required for workers to live a decent life. Please note that just because a brand says they are sustainable, doesn't mean they are ethical. Gunmetal A color that refers to an Alloy popular in the 1890's which is a mixture of 90\% copper and 10\% tin. Carbon offsetting happens when a company, or even an individual, invests in one or more environmental projects to balance out their greenhouse gas emissions and become carbon neutral. Ethical fashion is a tiny bit different from sustainable fashion, in the sense that it focuses more on the social impact of the fashion industry: ethical literally means “morally right”. Second-hand is one of the most sustainable fashion options out there, as you’re reducing your impact by not buying “new”. For fashion, it can mean having a minimal amount of clothes in your wardrobe that feel right for you and bring joy. Of course, being transparent is only the first step towards being more sustainable and ethical. It means buying better quality garments less often that will last for longer, and values fair treatment of people, animals, and the planet. Companies usually market supposedly “environmentally-friendly” initiatives, like having one tiny eco-friendly line, using recycled packaging and switching to LED lights in their offices while not addressing critical environmental and labour issues. Download our app to discover ethical brands and see how your favourites measure up. Fast Fashion, is derived from “Fast Food” and is used to describe clothes are that produced quickly and inexpensively to fit the latest trends, usually copied directly from the runway. are generally preferable over virgin, petroleum-derived synthetics like polyester, acrylic, and nylon. "Many sustainable labels are genuine pioneers in seeking to transform the industry from inside out," Bel Jacobs, of Extinction Rebellion's "Boycott Fashion" campaign, said. As a result, organic materials, and especially organic cotton, are becoming popular. Let me know in the comments below! Minimalism has become popular recently thanks to Marie Kondo (and her recent Netflix series, that I have yet to watch) and The Minimalists’ Netflix Documentary. Ethical fashion. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! Traceability is crucial for transparency. If you’ve heard of Marie Kondo, then you might already have an idea of what minimalism is. Sustainable fashion. If you feel disheartened in your sustainability journey, just remember that it is a very personal one, so take your time to figure out what is important to you. But how do we know what’s good? But what do these words really me You may have come across mentions of diversity or inclusivity in the ethical fashion sphere. Sustainable fashion concerns more than just addressing fashion textiles or products. Vegan refers to products that have been made using zero animal products or by-products. Sustainable fashion is thus partly about producing clothes, shoes and accessories in environmentally and socio-economically sustainable manners, but also about more sustainable patterns of consumption and use, which necessitate shifts in individual attitudes and behaviour. Circular fashion refers to clothes that are designed, produced and sold to design out waste and pollution, keep the product and the materials that constitute it in use (while maintaining their quality), and to dispose of it in a way that regenerates the natural systems. Starting your sustainable fashion journey can be tricky and it's easy to feel overwhelmed - how do you navigate through this ocean of information and terminology? Second-hand is one of the most sustainable fashion options out there, as you’re reducing your impact by not buying “new”, and by giving a second life to items that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. Coined by Kate Fletcher of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, following the phenomenon of the slow food movement, slow fashion is, put simply, the opposite of fast fashion. One of the Sustainable Business Network’s four transformation areas, ‘building thriving communities’ requires strategic business investment in the localities in which they operate. It is known as the 5 R's of fashion -- reduce, repair, recycle, repurpose, and reinvent. Microplastics or microfibres refer to plastic particles smaller than 5mm. Here are 22 sustainable and ethical fashion words you need to know! As well as ensuring good working conditions for all, businesses should look at all parts of their operations to make sure they are creating products and services that build, rather than erode, communities. Feature image via Unsplash. It’s based partly on William McDonough and Michael Braungart’s Cradle to Cradle design philosophy (they wrote a book about it, which I highly recommend). In Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Indonesia, for example, typical wages are only one quarter to one half of what a worker needs for a decent life. The industry's marketing may be … Ethical fashion covers a wide range of issues such as living wages, working conditions, health and safety, forced labour, child labour. It means avoiding the depletion of natural resources, but also the exploitation of individuals and communities. Ethical fashion can also include the fair treatment of animals, vegan and cruelty-free fashion. Fast Fashion pioneers include H&M, Zara and TopShop, although SUPER Fast Fashion (so even worse than their elders) brands have been emerging, such as Fashion Nova, Zaful, Missguided and Boohoo. There are so many words and definitions, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed at first. Fast Fashion brands are incredibly cheap and have been associated with overproduction, waste, deplorable working conditions and terrible environmental impact. Brands & Consumers. Plus it encourages creativity and innovation! Minimalism is about stripping back the unnecessary, leaving only the things that provide you with real value and joy. It comprises addressing the whole system of fashion. If a brand states they are fair trade, it doesn't mean their products are earth-friendly. How Soon Will Climate Change Force You to Move? There you have it: the ultimate sustainable and ethical fashion glossary? In this post, we cover some of the basics so that you can feel more comfortable in learning your sustainable fashion. It has been created by Condé Nast, in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of Arts London. Wear the change you want to see. This industrial catastrophe, one of the worst in history, marked the start of the questioning of fast fashion and demand by consumers for more transparency. Financial Times. Slow Fashion also focuses on “style” rather than “fashion”; this means developing a personal sense of taste instead of frantically following trends. Good on people,the planet and animals.Good on you. But true sustainability must incorporate three important factors: ethics, the environment and the economy. Learn more about ethical and sustainable fashion, Discover how to spot a fast fashion brand, Here are some of our favourite slow fashion brands, capsule wardrobes are a good place to start. But carbon offsetting is not that simple, and sadly is not a miracle solution to climate change! Several organisations, such as the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) are helping consumers find certified organic items. Being transparent means publishing all information about every actor involved in the production process, from start to finish, from the fields to the store shelves. This doesn’t mean they necessarily are a sustainable brand. 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